Stone South America review

May 16, 2002
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Stone South America 2002 was held from March 13 to 16 at the Transamerica Expo Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
One of the first and most common things people talked about at the 2002 Stone South America exhibition, held from March 13 through the 16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was the Transamerica Expo Center, the new and modern exhibition hall in which the show is now being held. This change was welcomed for a variety of reasons, including the comfort of air conditioning, a more professionally run hall and the elimination of problems resulting from hard rains that were an unfortunate trademark of the previous exhibition grounds. Moreover, adjacent to the exhibition hall is a modern hotel complex that is both convenient and reasonable. VNU Media, the organizers of the event, has confirmed that the fair will stay in this building for the foreseeable future.

But the theme of change was not limited to the exposition facility, as Stone South America is moving in a new direction in other significant ways. The long-time official sponsor of the event, SIMAGRAM, will no longer fill this role, and instead, ABIEMG will now be the official sponsor of Stone South America. ABIEMG, an association created in 2000 to be the voice of manufacturers and exporters in the Brazilian stone industry, is led by its president, Jose Gilberto Sibin, of Emigran Granitos; vice president Jose Luis Santolin of Marbrasa; finance director, Keith Cattley of Brasvit; and administrative director, Paulo Cezar Fleischfresser of Michelangelo Marble.

According to show management, just over 11,000 people attended Stone South America in 2002, with the majority coming from Brazil, particularly the Southeastern part of the country (over 70% of Brazilian visitors came from this region). As is the case each year, the overwhelming reason people attended the fair was to see new products and meet new suppliers, since Brazil is still a country whose stone industry is evolving, especially in the export sector. Furthermore, based on the strength of the U.S. dollar, Brazil is still a very important source for the American stone industry as well other countries. Several American importers visited the fair, most of whom visit Brazil regularly to see their current suppliers, but who were looking for new stones and new sources to add to their existing lines. Statistics supplied by VNU support this trend, with 65% of visitors saying they came to the exhibition for one of these two reasons. At least 20% of the respondents said they planned to make purchases at the fair, and there was ample evidence of transactions taking place on the show floor. Exhibitors were present from many countries throughout the world, including Italy, Spain, Germany, Peru, China, Korea, India and the U.S. (Stone World was the lone U.S. exhibitor).

The last three days of the show were the strongest, and there were some who called for the show to be shortened to three days, while others valued the extra time to meet with clients. Stone South America will be held at the Transamerica Expo Center in Sao Paulo from March 12 to 15 in 2003.

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